Line Laser Safety
Safety when handling line lasers
It is not difficult to use a line laser in an industrial machine. Our modules, kits and complete devices make it very simple to apply a laser line or another form of visualisation to a work table, work surface or machine. The new laser standard 60825-1 supports the safety of line lasers by permitting a new evaluation process, which is based on so-called “expanded laser sources”.
If you have decided to work with MediaLas line lasers then the question immediately arises: How do I achieve the requisite degree of laser safety? We do not want to (and we are certainly not permitted to) endanger you or your employees, or leave any visitors feeling unsure whether danger may arise here. It is not difficult to establish a safe laser system with a MediaLas line laser.
When conducting the safety evaluations for lasers, we distinguish in principle between:
- Laser devices
- Laser systems
By "laser device" we mean the device that transmits the laser beam, which exhibits the first exit point of the laser beam under evaluation. In the case of our line lasers for example, this would be the line lens. After this lens, a concentrated laser beam is output, which can certainly be dangerous in almost all cases. If an onlooker were able to line their eye up directly with the laser beam then eye damage would almost certainly occur. We want to avoid this.
By “laser system” we mean the entire jig in which a laser module, line laser, cross hair laser or laser projector is installed, fitted and put into operation. Simplest example: A sheet metal folder. A laser line is to be generated on the sheet to be folded, indicating the position of the fold. The sheet metal folder or the machine becomes a “laser system” in this case, because a laser device is mounted on it and projects a beam somewhere on this machine and generates a laser line.
For the purpose of a risk assessment according to OStrV or EN 60825-1 it is now necessary to consider the entire laser system, because a simple assessment of the laser device is insufficient for defining a hazard class. With correct installation even a 100mW line laser can be classified as a laser device in class 3B, while a completely safe laser system may be classified in class 2 or even class 1.
Unfortunately this evaluation process is often applied incorrectly and the safety officer merely performs simplified classification according to the output of the laser device. This is incorrect.
We shall be happy to assist with any questions regarding laser safety, the precise classification of your machine or application.